M's Win the Pennant! M's Win the Pennant!
Just keep walkin', LrKrBoi29. Nothin' to see here


Bobby Fischer claimed to have been the World Champ beginning in 1962, which was ten years before his official win over Spassky.  Fischer had played an 8-man tourney in Curacao, him and 7 Russians.*  The Russkies conspired to throw games against each other freeze the teenage Bobby out.  "The Russians have fixed world chess!" was the scandal he reported in ... wait for it ... Sports Illustrated.  "I had the best score of anybody who didn't cheat.  I should be the champion."

This is an interesting paradigm, if you think about it.  :- )  "I had the best score of anybody who COUNTED."  True, the first time we learned to say this was when we were 3 years old.  But: some things we learn in kindergarten are true.  

And used the right way, this little gem can really help you sort out your biases.  "Franklin Gutierrez has the best performance of any Rainier the M's actually care about."  ... "SSI has the most vibrant community of any site that isn't a barnacle on SBN's hide."  ... "Mike Montgomery has yielded fewer homers than any Rainiers pitcher who started a game."  "A 3-year window for the World Series is the best of any 3-year situation ... in Seattle this millenium."  "The Mariners are the second-best sports team of any franchise that stayed here."  The power of positive thinking, amigo.

And as you know, all we ever needed to know about Mariners baseball, we did learn in 1977:


1.  SHARE EVERYTHING.  Notably, the information as to what Taijuan is throwing next.

2.  PLAY FAIR.  Except when Zuumball "yanks" a pitch up four inches.  Deflated footballs were the subject here.

3.  DON'T HIT PEOPLE.  Or people's pitches.  Or soft spots through the infield.  Or people who pour ice water on you.

4.  PUT THINGS BACK WHERE YOU FOUND THEM, particularly when you find managers in Cleveland.

5.  CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.  Granted, Pat Gillick never went to kindergarten; he went to USC.

6.  DON'T TAKE THINGS THAT AREN'T YOURS.  But this does not refer to "leads" that aren't yours.  

7.  SAY YOU'RE SORRY WHEN YOU HURT SOMEBODY.  They "get it" at 1B.  Next up, home plate.  That guy back there doesn't seem to be into apoloties.

8.  TAKE A NAP EVERY AFTERNOON, but if it's Paxton who is taking a nap waiting for you to step in, something went wrong somewhere along the line.

9.  FLUSH.  Whether it is in favor of Mike Montgomery remains unclear.

10.  GOLDFISH AND MICE AND HAMSTERS DIE.  SO DO WE.  Well, we have since 2001.  But here it is June and we're in first.


That said, the M's do enter play with the best record of any good team in the AL West:


There was, however, a disconcerting "Ask Bill" this week:


Hey, Bill, I've been watching the Astros in surprise and delight (I love when teams you don't expect, like Kansas City last year, do very well). You have the Astros third on your list of baseball's hottest teams today, just one degree behind San Francisco; they won 10 in a row at one point this season; and they have the best record in the American League. Where did they come from? I know you're not into predictions (other than projecting individual players), but are you surprised, as many in baseball and certainly I am? Again with the predictions, but I have to ask: do you think they are for real, and will play at least above .500 the rest of the way?
Asked by: flyingfish
Answered: 5/23/2015
Two years and a few months ago I was on a panel at an analytics convention and the question was posed, "In five years, do you think the Astros will be winning 90 games a year?" Two other panelists said "No", but I jumped in uninvited to say that in five years, they're going to be winning MORE than 90 games a year. I had actually forgotten that that exchange happened, until about two months later I got a Thank You note from the owner of the Astros, thanking me for sticking up for what they were doing. Apparently it had made the newspapers down there.
The Astros are run by very, very bright people--Luhnow and Mejdal---and, unless you have spent some time down there, you can't believe how much money there is in Houston. Do I think they'll win their division THIS YEAR; probably not. Teams normally contend but fall short for one or two seasons before they break through. But I definitely believe in that organization and believe in what they are doing. - James


Hm.  Let's hope that THIS YEAR underline has some traction.   






Or "Charly," if you wish.  Did you know (IIRC) that Cliff Robertson's Oscar that year ('68) was the result of the first unabashed advertisng campaign by an actor seeking to win the Acadamy Award.
I'm prety sure that's right. Never liked the movie that much but loved the story when I read it (like everybody else) back in HS English.
Algernon dies early:  Ergo, the Astros can't keep up this demented pace:  Starters #'s 2-4 aren't quite that good, some BP guy named Will Harris is running a  0.5 WHIP, and they are exceeding Pythag by 3 games, already.
They will slow down.  
Can we stay hot enough to hang around until they do slow down?  There's the $64K question.
Algernon can probably figure that puzzle out.  Oh...wait.
BTW:  Loved rule #5---5.  CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.  Granted, Pat Gillick never went to kindergarten; he went to USC. 


Not that I don't believe in the program they're running there...but I don't believe we have really seen it come to fruition yet.
Right now, they have an ERA+ of 114 despite their entire rotation being way too wobbly to expect that to continue (yes, I'm including Keuchel in that) and despite some remarkable bullpen overperformances...Keuchel has an FIP of 3.18, not 1.18 (heh). He's been getting lucky on batted balls in play even if you assume he has a skill for limiting the damage on those balls in play. After that, you've got a string of guys who (a) developed late and came out of nowhere (b) were never very good and still aren't (c) are about as developed as Taijuan Walker or (d) multiple or all of the above. And behind them, you've got a bullpen with quality arms having massively UP years at the same time, rather like the 2014 Mariners.
And to compound all of those problems...their offense has been benefitting from some huge overperformances as well. Jake Marisnick hit approximately .845 for a three-week period and has hit approximately .000 since. Just as a "for example". :) Colby Rasmus is having one of his hot months, but he does that from time to time and then returns to being terrible. They're not a push-over anymore...but they won't stay atop the west. Not a chance.


But those chances are basically:
1) The rest of the West keeps rolling around in its own slop the remainder of the year.
2) This is a consolidation rather than a large hot streak, and other players will heat up as the comets slow down (ie, what we hope for with this team once Cruz can't single-handedly carry us... though with Seager now it's kind of a double-handed carry, which is better for the back).
#1 is one of those situations where 86 games wins the division.
#2 is a Royals situation from last year to this, potentially.
I prefer option #3, where Seattle is done grinding the gears and can chase down the 'Stros like we're driving a War Rig through the desert and picking off warboys left and right.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.